The goal of this article is to provide you with drills to increase your power off the mound. For the sake of conversation, I want to define power to make sure we're on the same page.
Power is the highest amount of force you can produce at the highest rate of speed.
Simply put: strength + speed = power.

Three Drills

Athletes in various sports consider themselves baseball, football, or hockey players, etc. And then within those categories they segregate further by saying "I’m a pitcher" or quarterback or defenseman.
They lose sight that at their core they are athletes.
There are three words to describe all athletic movement regardless of sport: integrity, capacity, and performance. When we develop athletes, these three words are the principles we use for our programming.
The drills I'm sharing with you are not a "one size fits all", but rather an age-adaptable guide based on movement principles to increase power on the field.

Drill #1- Heavy Carry

(Farmer Carry, Suitcase Carry, Overhead Carry, Offset Weighted Carry)
We load the appropriate weight and ask them to walk a programmed distance or time. Our main cue to them is “stay tall”. It helps to keep them aware and in touch with their structure.
Depending on the age and capability we like to start with Farmer Carry. Even for our youth athletes, 10-13 years old, we will have them hold appropriate weight in each hand and then walk. For the parents that are fearful of their child holding weight, their school backpack’s are heavier than what we have them hold. It’s feedback—instantly.
Your structure changes when you are carrying something heavy. It adapts. If you want to increase the demand you are putting on your system (i.e. increase power off the mound) this will help reinforce the ability to do that. Every step you take is a demand on your system under load.
As an extra bonus, it builds grip strength which is a direct correlate to overall health and specifically shoulder health.

Drill #2- Deadlift

We play with various types of deadlifts and stressors like volume, intensity and frequency—but our go to is a Hex Bar Deadlift.
We love to program drills that are as idiot proof as possible and this is one of those. 90% of the time our athletes will step inside the bar and get into a natural athletic position with little direction. Meaning, they look like a short stop ready to collect a ball hit to them. Our cues are simple from there.
We ask them to grip the bar as tight as possible like they are choking it, similar to the heavy carry above. This promotes a stronger connection with the bar. Then we tell them to push the ground away from them and stand tall.
Think of what you do when you want to jump high… You sink down to go up. Same principle applies here. Press hard into the ground to lift the bar up.
For our youth athletes, we start them by doing squat jumps. Then as they get older and their development improves we move them to a Kettlebell Deadlift. Then ultimately we move them to the Hex Bar.
Strength is simple, although not easy, once initiation is built.

Drill #3- Earth Push Up

We love to use what my coach, Will Chung, named the "Earth Push Up".
This push up variation is a conversation between your upper and lower body through center just like a pitch. You initiate the movement through your feet and ankles, spreading to the legs and core, where it is received by your upper body pulling down into position. Then it flows in reverse from hands to feet.
We love this because it is easy to see and feel when the movement is efficient and “everyone” (soft tissue like muscles, ligaments and tendons) are moving together. We also love it because it is safe for all ages and has many different progressions and variations.
Ben is the owner and founder of BeWell Fitness in Libertyville, IL and has been a strength coach for more than 15 years. He started his coaching career in Boston, working with athletes training for high school, collegiate, professional and the 1998 Nagano Olympic games.  Currently, he is working with performance athletes and tactical forces as well as people in “The Game of Life”.

Leave a comment

Stay in-the-know

// klaviyo script